THERE was jubilation in Iddesleigh today when royalty came to the tiny village in the shape of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The royal couple visited The Duke of York, the pub that inspired the novel War Horse.

They met its author Sir Michael Morpurgo and his wife Lady Clare and joined a lunch of villagers.

They also chatted with locals gathered outside, among them nine-month-old Grace Wilkins and her mum Kerry Dunn.

Kerry was charmed when the Duchess came to chat to her.

‘She was so friendly. Grace grabbed her flowers and she said babies always go for the crinkly paper! I wasn’t expecting her to come an speak to us. She was saying how sweet Grace was. It was wonderful to speak to her. I was expecting to stay in the background.

‘I wouldn’t be able to go to London with a baby, so it was really special that they came here. They are the future King and Queen of England and it is incredible to say that Grace has already met them, quite surreal!’

Prince Charles was greeted with a round of applause — and a pint of local beer — when he arrived a a bit later than his wife, from another engagement.

He joked with villagers, and even offered to hand his pint around in the sweltering heat.

He also chatted to one of the oldest villagers Gordon Cameron, 87, about learning to fly.

Landlord John Pittam said: ‘I’m delighted that their royal highnesses came to our beautiful village. It is the icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned because we have had a lot of publicity with War Horse over the past ten years.’

Sir Michael said the visit was about the wonderful community spirit in Iddesleigh.

The visit was prompted by the Duchess reading an article he’d written on the lunch in the national press.

‘The upshot of it all was that they wanted to visit because of my article about the community spirit in Iddesleigh, how kind people are and how they look after each other.

‘I’ve been on the receiving end of that during the pandemic, being the wrong side of 77. I only went shopping twice in 18 months because we were looked after so well. People here are extraordinarily kind.’

He added: ‘People here are very pleased that they came. They are pleased that these extraordinary people who are really busy have taken the trouble to come to this place which by and large people don’t visit. I’m just thrilled that they came.’